pk the Master Mind

I’ll tell a series of pk-the-master-mind stories, there will be several such in this file.

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Personal / Stories / pk by Age / (range of ages) /

The first such story I told I put among some “Sex Stories”: I recalled getting a neighbor girl I didn’t know at all to take all her clothes off: in order to impress my friend Pete. I told her that we (eight-or-so-year-olds) were medical students, studying anatomy. I promised we’d pay her a nickel to model. Seeing little girls naked was my regular practice, but it was Pete’s first such view, he was very impressed. But it’s a fiend’s story, ’cause we never gave this cooperative cute little girl her nickel!

Frat House Master Mind
@ K. 2001 11 20

In contrast, here’s one I’m eternally proud of. c. 1958.

Myron was a valued friend. Myron played the piano. Myron played jazz piano. I met Myron the first night of freshman orientation week and pledged myself then and there to being his fan if not his friend. Myron, you see, played bebop piano. Myron tried to play like Bud. (If you have to ask Bud who, you have no business reading this.)

Myron was only fifteen at the time, had thirty points of A+ freshman year. All us eighteen year olds were intimidated by his talent, but as time passed we were less blinded by him and more confused. More and more he seemed more and more ordinary. Were we getting smarter? more self-confident? or was he diminishing? If we’d had any idea how many drugs he’d been taking, maybe the mystery would have seemed less. By the time we graduated, Myron could barely complete a coherent sentence. And his playing had long come to suck.

When he came to me junior year and suggested we share an apartment together, I thought my ship had come in: little guessing that my ship was being hijacked. (Myron never suggested, Paul, why don’t you rent an apartment and let me and all my junkie friends move in for free: but that’s what it amounted to.)

Before long Myron’s junkie bass player, Bernie, had one of the rooms. He’s the only one who’s checks never bounced: he never gave me a check.

But this story isn’t supposed to be about all that: just about one incident. Myron and Bernie (and Lenny and Bobby and whoever else was in that band) got a gig at one of the gross fraternity houses on 114th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. It may not have been the DEK house but it was close by in address and in spirit. I show up and the brothers are already well beered up. Fraternity houses love to fill themselves to the rafters with drunk high school girls and an ample contingent were present on this night. I start swilling the beer, valiantly trying to catch up to the drunken brothers and their underage prey.

I don’t think the house liked the band’s music much. Come to think of it, I probably didn’t either. Lenny was a great drummer. Bobby Porcelli went on and made his own rep after a fashion: but none of those guys, not even Marty who I still see in old film on TV advertising jazz from the 60s or 70s, went as far as they might have had they not been so ardent in imitating Bird’s and Miles’ and Trane’s worst habits. Myron’s playing … I don’t know … rambled. But at least they were playing the right things: Sonny’s tunes, Benny Golson’s stuff.

Myron comes over to me. Stupid me. I didn’t know he was 90% unconscious from codeine-laced cough syrup. Love is blind. One of the house’s blond Vikings had come up to Myron, taken him outside, and belched in his face that they weren’t gonna tolerate no n-s in the house.
[Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 03 Offensive terms go dosido in fashion.] That’s funny: Bernie had already been thumping his bass there throughout the evening. Myron, still no bigger than a child, shoulders like a girl, tells me he hawked up a big gob of phlegm and spat it in the guy’s face. Myron has come to warn me that there might be “trouble.” He indicates a disturbed Viking.

The brother in question was on the large size. He was fuming around whispering to his clones. I believe Myron’s story to have been the literal truth. Maybe the guy was too drunk to react in a timely manner and simply clobber Myron on the spot. If he didn’t like “n-rs,” how well can he have liked this soft little Jew whom I so worshipped? Maybe he wanted it to be a general lynching, and bore his spittle manfully till he could get organized.

If that was it, what it did was give me time to get organized. I could see the hulk stimulating fellow warriors. I could also see that they were simmering their blood lust while they increased their numbers. Before long their numbers would be such that their courage would stick. I had to act fast.

I grabbed a big guy who wasn’t already simmering. I said, “Hey,” having to shout up into his ear, “there’s trouble brewing.” “What?” he bleared down at me.

“Some bullies are fixing to bust up your party, maybe wreck your fraternity house.”

That did it. Ça sufficed. I watched the guy go from brother to brother, preparing them for a defensive action. Simultaneously, the first guy was still going around stimulating for an offensive action. I watched as the two parties met and canceled each other, incoming tide canceling outgoing tide. I enjoyed my beer as I watched the first of the defensive-minded recruit a guy already a-boil with offense. Really?!? His plans for the lynching were instantly forgotten. The troops all allied to defend their turf against the “bullies.”

And the band played on.

PS 2012 05 20 It just occurred to me: recalling the frat house location: W 114 off Amsterdam. I don’t recall seeing Brian Dennehy at that particular party, but Dennehy’s fraternity was right there: that house or the brownstone next door: jock frats, drunk frats. I was a drunk too, but a non-frat: an independent drunk: blessedly drug-free: surrounded by junkies.

I’ve got two more I’ll sketch real quick:

Big Brother

I made a friend in freshman week who remains a friend to this day even though the friendship has been diluted by disappoints, on both side I don’t doubt. John and I both worked the Refreshment Agency, were both English majors, sat together in senior seminar, studied together. First I thought he had to be really smart, all those scholarships, but even as I saw him simply not get this and that and the other thing, it was simply too late: I loved him. So: we fished, skied. These days I get only one non-family Christmas card: John’s.

It wasn’t till we’d graduated that I met John’s younger brother. John would bring J fishing, skiing … I became friends with both. Getting married diluted everything: whatever they though of my wife, I never warmed to J’s wife, and hated John’s wife: mutually. But: I’d borrow a camper “cot” from J when I was in Boston on busines decades later. Some cot: Jim had a thirty room mansion in Brookline. But step back a couple of years: we’re at a party on Long Island. John had gotten this and that job, had done his navy stint as an officer on the USS Randolph; but J had burned through Fordham, gotten a big gig, got bigger: and John was jealous. Odd: the older brother jealous of the younger brother!

One last detail about John: I’ve met only one other guy who could attract a woman, seduce a woman, put a woman into heat faster than John. At a party he sees a girl for the first time. Five minutes latter we can all smell her. Thing is: like the other buddy I’m recalling, Kelly (also genetically Celtic), five minutes latter the girl was ready to slap John across the chops, go take a shower, get up and go home, go fall in love with someone else. In the mating game he was a porcupine.

Anyway, we’re at a party in Freeport, Dave’s: also Refreshment Agency (except that Dave and I became the bosses: John advanced only the first of three steps. So: John has a date at this party, attractive girl. John is getting extra drunk extra fast. His date, since she’s a date and not a pick up, is trying to be loyal, attentive; but she’s having a hell of a time. John is behaving like a porcupine in all social aspects.

Me, I sit there drunk as a lord, till no one can stand another moment of John’s boorishness. Jim is wowing everybody in the background, apparently oblivious to his brother’s suffering. Our circle is totally miserable. “Oh, hell,” I scoff: and take John aside. John resists, gets insulting, is about to get physical; but I still have my fingers digging into his biceps. “What?” he finally snorts.

“John,” I say. “Stop being such an ass hole. Everybody loves you. Never mind that J got this fabulous promotion, never mind if he gets a six figure bonus: two of him is not worth one of you.”

John came back to our circle looking sheepish. He apologized.
His date sat with her jaw dropped. She grabbed hold of me, gripped me hard, demanded right in my face: “I have to know: What did you say to him?!”

I shook myself free. “I’ve known John a long time,” I said. pk, the Master Mind.

But only one time was I ever to my knowledge called by those exact words:
Hilary and I were living in the apartment I’d met her in: 440 Riverside Dr. I’d been illegally fired from Colby College, was back at NYU, wasting more time and money. I was writing the first short fiction of my thirties. Hilary’s mother was in Switzerland, Geneva, for the UN for the year: office a castle on the lake, one of the big bosses. Hilary and I were camped at the mother’s big place: I used our little pad as a writing studio: commuted from a few doors up Claremont: NYC’s most beautiful street: like Paris, friends said.

Claremont Ave
Claremont Avenue

A girl Hilary worked over came to visit while I was writing. I’d patted her ass at a party a week or so earlier. Next thing you know I’m eating her pussy. Next thing I know, she’s blowing me: not very well but she did make me come, and in under twenty or so minutes: not totally inept, though I was sick of her innocuous pussy by then.
The phone rings. Hilary announces that dinner will be ready soon. “OK, I’ll just finish up here.” Whatever the words, C deduced that Hilary was saying something like, Oh, OK, no hurry, don’t rush, I’m just …

C is flabbergasted. She says, You just fucked me and ate me and I swallowed your cum, and Hilary is apologizing to you?! You’re a master mind!”
Said not as a compliment, understand.

Stories by Theme


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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